Only a year after the band released the historic Self-Titled debut, the band released their 1990 tour de force: Weapons of Our Warfare. Metallica created Master of Puppets, Slayer bludgeoned the world with the classic Reign In Blood, Flotsam & Jetsam had Doomsday..., and Exodus boasted Bonded By Blood - all albums that would create the standard for all other speed metal releases. Weapons of Our Warfare was that album for Deliverance. It cemented the band's place as legitimate speed metal royalty. To this very day, Weapons is still mentioned with hushed reverence among Christian metalheads as one of the elite speed metal albums of all time.
Guitarist Glenn Rogers (Hirax) had exited the band and former Recon guitarist George Ochoa had joined in his place. Weapons of our Warfare turned out to be one monster of a record, a genuine speed metal classic. Each and every song is played with a feverish fury, and once again the song writing is outstanding. George Ochoa's highly technical rhythm guitar style drives most of the album, setting new standards of power, precision, and stamina. The band is just as dexterous, playing with tightly controlled fury even at the most ridiculously fast tempos. The album shows marked musical growth with several adrenaline-driven, extended, multi-sectioned compositions foreshadowing the band's later progressive epics. And the trade-off guitar leads by Brown and Ochoa provide first rate riffage that will satisfy even the most skilled Guitar Hero addict.
A video version of the title track became the first Christian metal song to gain airplay on MTV, and it placed among the top three on that network's Headbanger's Ball countdown for twelve weeks in a row! In 1999, Lars Ulrich (Metallica) hosted a show in which he named Deliverance "Weapons..." as one of his top ten favorite metal videos of all time. Weapons... is a classic album, and with a complete Digital Remastering, enhanced new artwork inspired by the original artwork, and one bonus track, this 2008 reissue is sure to delight all fans of Believer, Slayer, Exodus, Metallica, Tourniquet, and Anthrax.
Features all new, greatly enhanced artwork, inspired by the artwork from the original 1990 release.
2008 reissue boasts a full Digital Remastering of these classic speed metal songs.
One track from, Decade of Deliverance compilation is included as a bonus track!
Full magazine, advertising, radio campaigns
Featured on Heaven's Metal subscribers compilation cd
Featured on label promotional CD, Headbangin' 201
Active Myspace and website promotion: myspace.com/thebigdlives
Deliverance is one of the most historic / influential metal bands in Christian metal history
Band saw video rotation on MTV's, Headbanger's Ball program in the early 90's.
Produced, recorded, and mixed by Bill Metoyer (Flotsam and Jetsam, Trouble, Fates Warning, DRI, Slayer)
Deliverance’s 1990 sophomore outing Weapons Of Our Warfare is widely considered one of the top releases in the annals of Christian metal. And rightly so! Recorded in follow up to the groups critically acclaimed self-titled debut from 1990, Weapons… finds Deliverance continuing to head in a melodic speed metal and thrash direction but with more focused songwriting, improved production values and superior packaging (particularly the album artwork). If anything, Weapons… takes things to the next level in comparison to Deliverance- an album that was already very, very good to begin with.
The album showcases a fast and aggressive sound certain to appeal to fans of Slayer, Exodus, Metallica, Anthrax, Believer, Tourniquet and Temple Of Blood. If you are looking for a heavier side to the bands songwriting skills then check out hard hitting tracks “This Present Darkness” and “Weapons Of Our Warfare” while “Solitude” and “23”, conversely, reflect the more melodic aspect. “Flesh And Blood” represents a seven minute thrash assault and “Slay The Wicked” and “If We Faint Not” forays into all out speed metal. Rounding things out is the remake of “Greetings Of Death”, a classic taken off Deliverance’s demo of the same name from 1986.
Originally released on Intense Records in 1990 but long out of print, Weapons Of Our Warfare was digitally re-mastered and re-issued by Retroactive Records in late 2008 with a new interpretation of the album artwork and a bonus track entitled “Rescue” (from the Decade Of Deliverance compilation).
While founding member Jimmy P. Brown II still contributes a soaring, high pitched vocal style occasionally hinting at Geoff Tate (Queensryche), he displays his versatility by adding an element of grit to his delivery on “Bought By Blood” and “Greetings Of Death”. Brown continues to remain one of the tightest rhythm guitarists on the planet and combines with newcomer George Ochoa (Recon), who replaced the departed Glenn Rogers (Hirax), for an abundance of dual lead guitar work. Brian Khairullah remains a steady presence on bass and forms a monster rhythm section with drummer Chris Hyde. Hyde puts in a particularly strong showing, putting forth a performance that is fast, heavy and machine-like in its precision.
Production values, coming across crisp and clean, are solid in combining the needed amount of upfront rhythm guitar an even mix of lead guitar and drums.
Please note that Weapons Of Our Warfare is a semi concept album dealing with spiritual warfare themes as outlined in II Corinthians 10:4-5. If in doubt then check out the stunning album artwork portraying the Apostle Paul penning the scripture in question as a spiritual battle takes place in the background.
Deliverance - Weapons Of Our Warfare - Intense version
The haunting “Supplication” opens to a blend of narration (from II Corinthians 10:4-5) and acoustic guitar. Once a swell of rhythm guitar takes over, the song moves forward to its conclusion hard and heavy.
“This Present Darkness” immediately cuts in to a thrash flavored riff, a deluge of unremitting impetus upholding the forceful scene until a dogged chorus delivered in hard hitting fashion is achieved. A lead guitar trade off between Brown (left channel) and Ochoa (right) helps shore up an extensive instrumental section.
The albums heavy duty title track begins to an instrumental opening carried by a muscular rhythm guitar joined with a fiery lead guitar. Maintaining the aggressive aura during its verse portions, “Weapons Of Our Warfare” makes an even transition to a brief but driving chorus in which Brown displays the full range to his voice. “Weapons Of Our Warfare” deals with spiritual warfare:
Provoking thoughts only cause the sin
That provoking thoughts have earned
Cast down imaginations of every high thing
That dare exalts itself against the knowledge of God
The weapons of our warfare
Powerful they are
“Solitude” does a good job combining elements of melodic metal and thrash. Getting underway to a crunchy rhythm guitar backed by assertive drums, “Solitude” relentlessly forges ahead before reaching a piercing chorus put over the top by the decisive manner in which it is delivered. An extensive instrumental section features more dual lead guitar work, Brown handling the first solo and Ochoa the second. I enjoy how a second instrumental portion takes the song through its final minute and a half.
The monstrous “Flesh And Blood” covers its first minute at breakneck speed to an all out thrash heavy riff. Tapering prior to the start of its first verse, the song sustains the overpowering impetus as it grinds ahead to a predominant chorus upheld by shouted backing vocals:
FOR THIS WE WAGE WAR!
But not against man
This war is with darkness
And not against FLESH AND BLOOD!
After slowing at the start of a sweeping instrumental section featuring a poignantly played guitar solo, “Flesh And Blood” picks up in pace to more dual lead guitar. “Flesh And Blood” continues the album on its discourse of spiritual warfare:
The Holy Book makes it clear as to how we ought to fight
Put on the armor of God
Not by your might
Pray always with all supplication
In the Spirit
To the pulling down of strongholds and crushing Satan’s plan
“Bought By Blood” fades in to a drum solo before a choppy riff stands in support of Brown’s guttural vocal delivery, leading the way in heavy handed fashion prior to a double bass driven chorus shored up by more aggressive backing vocals. While “Bought By Blood” exudes the trade Deliverance “crunch” and “feel”, it, in my opinion, lacks the type of standout hook or melody that might keep my full attention. This one is not my cup of tea, though I can see others getting into it.
After “Bought By Blood” ends coldly, “23” commences to a blend of keyboards and acoustic guitar as a trace of lead guitar decorates the backdrop. Slowly moving forward to an acoustic guitar upon obtaining its first verse, “23” picks up in pace as the rhythm guitar steps forward to drive an emotionally charged chorus that almost comes across commercial in feel. Ochoa’s fluid lead guitar carries another sweeping instrumental section. “23”, of course, is based upon Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd
I shall not want
He makes me to lie down in green pastures
Leads me beside still waters
He restoreth my soul
Leads me in the path of righteousness
For His name sake
Though I walk in the valley of death
I will fear no evil
“Slay The Wicked” starts to a sword being drawn followed by narration stating, “For I am a jealous God and I appall their abominable practices, therefore spare nothing with the sword.” Swiftly taking off to an edgy rhythm guitar, “Slay The Wicked” maintains the albums theme of spiritual warfare as it rages through its first verse:
Angelic forces fighting the battles
Mighty they are
There is no place where angels fear to tread
Drawing swords of His righteous power
The word of truth on their lips
Prevailing over the rulers of this age
Subsequent to Hyde furnishing a plethora of hammering double bass, the bands shouted vocal harmonies carry things to a high-octane chorus in which Brown again exhibits the full range to his voice. This one is definitely not for the faint of heart.
One of the albums highlights is the remake of “Greetings Of Death”, an older track off the bands 1986 demo of the same name. The song takes off at breakneck speed to an assault of hard hitting riffs and sledgehammer drums. Maintaining the decisive edge during its first and second verse, the song closes out its final minute instrumentally as Brown and Ochoa tear it up with another dual lead guitar trade off.
The instrumental based opening to “If We Faint Not” begins to a foreboding double bass driven riff that segues to several seconds of distorted lead guitar. Moving ahead at a crunch-laden mid-paced tempo, the song gains further momentum for a chorus in which a prevailing environs is established. “If We Faint Not” is a song of faith:
So, let us not grow weary in doing what is right
God shall renew our strength to fight
Remember, we reap what we sow
Flesh sows corruption
Spirit everlasting life
We shall reap – if we faint not!
The bonus track “Rescue” is a melodic based piece walking a fine line between metal and thrash (kind of like “Solitude”). Musically, the song proves complementary in terms of the musical direction taken here with its catchy chorus, soaring vocal approach and relentless onslaught of drums and mega-tight guitar harmony. The quality of “Rescue” is such that I am surprised Deliverance has not recorded it for any of its full length projects.
To say that Deliverance is heavy is like saying water is wet, but there is so much more to the bands 1990 sophomore outing Weapons Of Our Warfare. Yes, the band delivers its share of hard hitters such as “Flesh And Blood” and “Greetings Of Death” but when you go beneath the surface you will find your share of melody as well (such as on “Solitude” and “23”). The bands performance, combining Jimmy Brown’s high end vocals and George Ochoa’s speedy leads, is without question. All in all, give credit to Retroactive Records for allowing this classic to again see the light of day- something which has been long overdue.
Review by: Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: “Supplication” (1:48), “This Present Darkness” (2:47), “Weapons Of Our Warfare” (4:25), “Solitude” (6:05), “Flesh And Blood” (7:27), “Bought By Blood” (3:17), “23” (5:49), “Slay The Wicked” (4:03), “Greetings Of Death” (2:49), “If We Faint Not” (4:25)
Jimmy P. Brown II – Lead Vocals & Guitars
George Ochoa – Guitars
Brian Khairullah - Bass
Chris Hyde – Drums
NO LIFE 'TIL METAL REVIEW
Deliverance - Weapons of Our Warfare (Intense) 1990
1. "Supplication" (1:48)
2. "This Present Darkness" (2:47)
3. "Weapons of Our Warfare" (4:25)
4. "Solitude" (6:03)
5. "Flesh and Blood" (7:27)
6. "Bought by Blood" (3:17)
7. "23" (5:49)
8. "Slay the Wicked" (4:03)
9. "Greetings of Death" (2:49)
10. "If We Faint Not" (4:25)
11. "Rescue" (4:40)
Deliverance were at their absolute best here. "Weapons of our Warfare" is a speed metal classic that is unbeaten by any other Deliverance album! Former Recon guitarist George Ochoa joins the ranks and adds a bit of his own flavor to this disc. George actually had joined the band shortly after the release of the band's debut and toured with Deliverance in support of that album. Almost every track on this disc is played with a fast and furious attitude and the song writing is outstanding. Songs like "Slay the Wicked" are absolutely fierce. Jimmy Brown proving that he can sing, and scream, with the best of the power metal or speed metal genre. My personal favorite songs are "This Present Darkness," "Flesh & Blood," "Slay the Wicked" and "Greetings of Death". "Greetings of Death" is a song that was re-recorded from the band's 1986 demo tape of the same name. "23" is another favorite track, although this song is a melodic, powerful, worship ballad offered up to Jehovah. Lyrically, there is a spiritual warfare theme that runs throughout this disc, but I would not say that this is a concept album. I have heard the band complain about this disc saying they weren't happy with the guitar sounds they achieved in the studio. From a fan perspective, however, I really don't see the problem. Perhaps with a bigger budget a fatter guitar sound could have been had, but for the most part this has never been an issue for me. The guitars are crunchy and heavy, like you would expect from a speed metal release.
Unfortunately the original Intense Records version of this disc went out of print a decade ago. KMG attempted a cheesy reissue in the 90's, but cut corners with poor packaging and mastering. Fortunately in 2008 Retroactive gained the rights to this album, as well as "Deliverance" and was able to put out a proper reissue. The Retroactive version has improved sound over the original release with proper mastering that helps improve the overall sound. This reissue also contains the bonus track "Rescue" which was originally recorded during the "Weapons of our Warfare" studio sessions, but was left off as guitarist George Ochoa felt that it didn't really fit on the album. Frankly, he was probably right, but it's still nice to have it as part of this reissue. The song was also released on the "Decade of Deliverance" compilation, but that disc is out of print as well.
The cover has been changed from the original. The new artwork was inspired by the original illustration. There are things I like better about the new cover, and things I don't like. Overall, the new cover is quite nice and an improvement over the original. However, the angel is a bit wimpy on this cover as compared to the muscle bound, angelic warrior on the original. The insert also contains lyrics, a vintage band photo from this era of the band and additional liner notes. A short write-up about the two Deliverance releases written by myself is included in the tray art. This 2008 reissue is a worth addition to any metal or thrash fans collection, even if you already have the original.